IL&FS Ethiopia crisis: Court cases block bank from releasing payment

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on January 28, 2019

The Indian employees of IL&FS in Ethiopia continue to be held hostage as the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) is not releasing the payment to secure their release owing to pending court cases of local contractors with IL&FS.

In a document seen by BusinessLine, the bank stated that it released the blocked fund amounting to Ethiopian Birr (ETB) 5,390,000 in the name of ITNL Elsamex JV Bure from a particular account and that this account was blocked due to four court cases. “We are unable to debit and make transfer from the account due to court order ref no…(sic)”, it stated.

IL&FS declined to comment.

A source said that IL&FS has uncleared liabilities with local contractors and the tax department. The deal was to pay the Ethiopian employees and secure the release of the Indian employees. But the court cases by local contractors have led to the account with the CBE being blocked again, the source added.

Earlier, Exim Bank had written to the CBE on January 11 authorising it to urgently release funds amounting to Ethiopian Birr (ETB) 5.39 million from the project account to secure the release of the Indian employees.

The Indian employees have been stranded in Ethiopia since November 24, 2018, after the Ethiopian employees decided to hold them hostage due to the JV failing to pay them salaries for two months and statutory dues for eight months.

Published on January 28, 2019

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